I am the "head volunteer" for a "patch" of Churches in a group of 3 neighboring cities. My job is to encourage members of our churches and parents/teens of families attending our schools to take part in community engagement (bottle drives, tidying up the parking lots for the churches and schools, spaghetti charity dinners, etc.).
One of our newer "lead volunteers", Shou, has offended a long-time volunteer of ours, Mihai. Mihai basically handles 95% of our IT needs (i.e. databases, wrote a asset management web application for us, even paid for the "Amazon AWS" bill out of pocket). Mihai is one of the very few people (save for elderly volunteers) that doesn't have to "cycle" his duties (i.e. we require parents to alternate between picking up trashed, setting up tables for dinners, childminding, etc.) so that everyone has to share the more desirable volunteer duties (i.e. field trips) and the less fun ones (picking up trash or "needle sweeps"). We don't want people to get stuck doing the same tasks and becoming disheartened, and we don't want people to keep doing the "fun" tasks and feeling like there's some sort of hierarchy in place.
Well, Shou, while I was on vacation, decided to try and force Mihai to do trash duty and needle sweeps. Mihai (large guy) basically intimidated Shou and told him off somewhat aggressively (Shou is now afraid to be in the same building as Mihai). Mihai couriered me a set of encrypted thumb drives with all our database records and the source for our web app, and sent our pastor another package with the keys for the files on the thumb drive, and a note that read along the lines "I worked hard to get to where I am so I'd never have to do manual labor or pickup trash again".
Unfortunately, while we have the data, we have no idea how to re-configure the setup Mihai had, even with his lengthy instructions. The only local tech company that seems to understand all this stuff (databases, AWS, Kubernetes, etc.) is requiring $15,000.00 to take over the project, plus $600/month in fees. We need these systems back up, as we have depended on them for 7 years for all of our volunteer work. We offered to continue to pay the "AWS bill", but Mihai noted that the system was already completely decommissioned when he elected to stop paying the bill (i.e. no way to "restore" the entire setup and keep using it).
We've offered Mihai money (which he was offended by), promises he'd never be bugged by Shou again, etc.; and no luck. Mihai is willing to resume his volunteer duties if, and only if, Shou does one of the following:
- Washes Mihai's feet after mass (with 2 witnesses present).
- Begs Mihai while on his knees for forgiveness in front of the congregation (pastor would never allow this).
- Apologies publicly online via a YouTube video.
I can't condone any of these actions, and we're also in serious trouble if we can't get these systems back up (deadlines will be missed, work won't be done, and we'll be in serious trouble handling end-of-year taxes this month). How can we fix this?
- There doesn't appear to be a warranty or contract with Mihai, so I don't know if a judge can "force him to work", since he was also a volunteer.
- Every single offer to Mihai is rejected and instead met with some way of publicly humiliating Shou.
- A lawyer (brief $500 consultation) has said that since we have the data and the app's source, and that Mihai was a volunteer (i.e. accepted no payment whatsoever, and paid the monthly AWS bill himself) there's not much we can do.
- Shou is willing to apologize in private, but that's it (and seems genuinely terrified of being in the same room as Mihai).
- We're completely stunned by Mihai. We never realized how proud and arrogant he is (gets infuriated when people try to make demands of him), given how charitable he's been over the years.